Meeting Martha

The sifter and the sifted

The sifter and the sifted

If I had the chance, I’d like to meet Martha. I’d tell her about my Children’s Sermon with the old sifter and grater. I’d explain how we talked about grating cheese for macaroni and sifting flour for baking a pound cake.

Martha  would understand the point of the rusty grater and the sifter…the laborious process of being changed for better,  refined, finer, softer.

Martha, who was frantic and frustrated

Preparing the house and the dinner for Jesus.

I wonder if I’d vacuum or wait peacefully expectantly.

Would I,  like Martha go a little crazy?

Become the martyr of housework, miserable and bitter?

My family, like Mary, off in a corner letting my mood run its course.

Watching dogs, feeding dogs

Washing clothes, folding clothes

Working hard at work and hard at home.

Methodical sameness of effort.

Early mornings and late nights.

Then quiet time feels like striving, pushing, forcing

And love feels like work

The bitter seed of pity grows big and strong roots and I’m stuck in a place of distress and discouragement.

Where are your blessings, Lord and where is my joy?

I can see Martha in me.

Martha, and me, sifted and refined by the words of Jesus

Reminded to lay her burdens down

Martha, who felt her efforts went unnoticed.

That her words mattered little and her sacrifice was nothing more than expectation that someone might notice.

Martha, who had a hard time

A very hard time believing that her crazy, frantic efforts were nothing more than distractions and anxious control.

I’d love to meet Martha.

The Martha who was reminded to wait.

The Martha who gave up on Jesus.

I’d ask her, what I believe was true of me and of Martha

“Was it hard Martha, to lay it all down to surrender?”

“Did it get easier to trust…to be more like Mary…or was it something you had to work on every day?”

I’d ask about her brother Lazarus, because I wonder

“Did you feel responsible, you with the inconsistent faith, for Jesus not showing up soon enough?”

Most of all I’d like to know,

“Did you finally embrace faith that can’t be seen when your precious brother came to life with Jesus’s loving hand of healing?”

“Martha, did you finally let go of control when Jesus said?”

“Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”

And then, I’d say with a tight and teary hug…

“Thank you Martha, for being you and for being me.

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